Don’t Judge, But Love
In my past, I had a pattern in my relationships of judging, rejecting and walking away. But I thank God for showing me, and reworking this pattern in my life.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Over the years, God has shown me the extent of my judgment of others, which was crafted in and by my flesh nature. It was derived from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus playing my own judge, instead of eating of the tree of life in which only God is judge and we are governed by His Spirit, not our judgments.
Like most areas requiring “purging the dross”, it amazed me how blind I was to my judging thoughts … even after years of seeking God. The web of lies we craft is vast, and the lies are deeply intertwined so that the renewing of our mind is a process that requires much patience. Romans 12:2 To break this bondage in my life, the Holy Spirit had to address other lies first. There may be more to come, but when we are receptive to His instruction, we move forward. And remember, we don’t even judge our own path. Leave all judgments to God who abounds in love and mercy.
1 Corin 4:3-4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
I never saw my thoughts as God revealed them to be because as Jeremiah says our heart is deceitful and most of all to ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 This is why we need One greater than us and beyond us to reveal and renew. This is the work of the Holy Spirit; to build in us new frameworks to think by that are established in Truth. Our part is to receive those frameworks by engaging His work in us by listening, praying, abiding in the Word, and submitting to His counsel as He directs.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We are to love not judge. Judging entails condemnation. Loving entails forgiveness and mercy.
Take the example of children. Running into the street can cause harm; they could get hit by a car. So if a child is headed into the street, we tell them no and redirect them. We don’t judge them in condemnation because we know they are acting based on what they know or don’t know. They are acting on their prior experiences and level of understanding. They are acting in ignorance, so we don’t judge, we teach and help.
All those under the sway of the evil one, which is the whole world, are as children who don’t know. People are blinded by the lies, and therefore they live by them as if they are truth. If they knew the Truth their actions would be different. Each one of us acts based on our personal experiences and understanding; whether good or bad, right or wrong. We need to give others and ourselves the same mercy, love and care we give children. Thus, when people act in harmful ways, we are to love and exhort them, not condemn.
Projecting our Mindset onto Others
Matthew 7:4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
An interesting aspect to this issue is beyond the exterior, the only judgment we can really have is our own interpretation of a situation based on our particular framework. All we know is our own mind, not another’s. We’ve never experienced another’s mind. So when we judge, we are really judging ourselves. When we judge we are assuming we know another’s mind because we are projecting our framework onto them. We think … if I acted that way this is what it would mean. But it isn’t us but them. Everyone’s perspective varies to some extent because no one has lived the exact same life. We can warn people of harmful situations, behaviors, modes of thought, we can help them from having walked certain paths ourselves, but we can’t judge them.
Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
The Apostle Paul constantly corrected the young believers in the Bible, but he didn’t condemn them. He warned them of the dangerous paths they were walking. His heart broke for them. He loved them. We are to follow that example. This flows right into the concept of speaking evil of no one. (video) Would you speak evil of a child running into the street? Regardless of the actions of others, there is no need to speak evil of them. It doesn’t accomplish anything and yet has harmful ripple affects. We aren’t helping anyone. Now, we can warn others of people. For example, if I have a friend listening to a one teaching false doctrine, I need to warn them that their words aren’t in accordance with truth. Yet, that is very different than slandering them and judging them as a person.
Imagine if no one judged another, not even themselves but exhorted in love. If this post struck a chord in you, seek instruction from the Holy Spirit and see what He speaks to you about this area. Seek for Him to renew your mind and spirit to release all judgment and instead love and help others; to do to others as you would have them to do you.